An idea so intrinsic to reading books, particularly those you love and remember, that I had never consciously thought of it.  Here, Michael Rosen describes his first encounter with a children’s classic, and it made me recall early encounters with some beloved books, and later re-encounters.

Feel free, dear reader, to send me a short account of your first sensation of reading a book you love or loved.

‘The history of books includes the history of how we each encounter them.  


I can well remember a fusion between the pleasure of walking along isolated paths, or waking up early looking out of the tent door, and a memory of the sensation of reading The Children of the New Forest.  Sometimes, it is a book’s ‘sensation’ that is its most powerful gift.’   


Source: Michael Rosen, Foreword, The Children of the New Forest, Frederick Marryat (London: Hesperus Press, 2014 (1847)), pp. 5 & 7

Image credit: book cover of The Children of the New Forest, Capt. Frederick Marryat, illus. E. Boyd Smith (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1911)


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